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Rongo University Launches Kshs. 23 Million Soil Analysis Lab

Rongo University has launched a soil analysis laboratory becoming the first to do so among institutions of its kind in Nyanza and Western regions.

The facility was built using funding from the government from the National Research Fund (NRF).

The facility is intended to assist farmers in the region with the analysis of soil samples in order to make the best decisions when it comes to planting and selecting the best types of seeds.

During the launch exercise, Amb Simon Nabukwesi, the Principal Secretary to the State Department of University Education and Research said that the facility is set to assist in providing appropriate advice to farmers and consequently maintain or improve food production.

“Our people are crop farmers and they need to understand the type of soils, what needs to be done with the soils and what needs to be added to increase productivity,” said Amb Nabukwesi.

According to Nabukwesi, universities have resources among them human resources and all they need is some help in reaching out to and having partnerships in the agricultural industry and farmers.

He also revealed that the NRF’s main goal is empowering universities and other institutions of higher learning in order to conduct research that will impact the social and economic lives of people.

“The NRF’s key focus is empowering universities to do research to help farmers to achieve sustainable food production,” said PS Nabukwesi.

Amb Nabukwesi also said that knowing nature and the content of the soil will bring about proper utilization and mitigate the effects of climate change and maximize food production and security across the country.

On his part, the Chairperson of the Rongo University Council Dr Rache Masake said that apart from encouraging ventures in other fields, the main priority of Rongo University is to strengthen agriculture in Kenya.

She also said that the kind of research that will be conducted at the facility will help to address some of the issues that are associated with the inconsistent crop production in the region.

Rongo University’s Vice-Chancellor on his part said that the university has been in close contact with farmers and encourages them to bring soil samples for analysis in the lab so that they can be advised on what their soil needs to ensure better crop production.

The partnership between Rongo University and Sony Sugar Company has been applauded as the most crucial supportive initiative in terms of soil analysis and advising sugarcane farmers on the best fertilizers to use.

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